Combine a Cultural Break with a Stay at The Midlands’ Finest Hotel and Dining Experience
27 Jul 2015
Family-run Hampton Manor offers a modern twist on the country house experience with a focus on relaxed charm. Surrounded by 45 acres of gardens and mature woodland, it offers beautiful walks and an intimate fine dining experience (Peel’s Restaurant was recently awarded 3 AA Rosettes).
Each of the 15 individually designed bedrooms has its own story, inspired by a personality linked to Hampton Manor’s history – from Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who once owned the estate, to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (suitor to Queen Elizabeth I) and Sir Robert Peel, founder of the modern police force.
Located in the charming village of Hampton-In-Arden, the Manor is the perfect base to explore the many cultural gems in the area, whether you want to see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon (birthplace to William Shakespeare); visit Birmingham’s art galleries and museums and state-of the art Symphony Hall; or make a day trip Compton Verney, just outside Warwick, with its acclaimed art gallery and Capability Brown landscaping.
Sightseeing couldn’t be easier. Hampton-In-Arden station is a five-minute walk from Hampton Manor with direct routes to London (just under 2 hours) and Birmingham (15 minutes). Stratford-upon-Avon is also a close drive away (30 minutes). The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Birmingham airport are a short drive away from the hotel, with many domestic and international connections. After a day’s sightseeing you can return for dinner and be spoiled by the team at Hampton Manor.
The building itself dates back to 1066. Its most famous resident was Sir Frederick Peel, son of 19th-century Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel , who acquired the land. After his death, his son decided to develop the area in his father’s memory. His inspiration was his family home at Drayton and he built a mirror image of it at Hampton Manor. The Neo-Tudor gothic style is evident throughout the manor and the clock tower looks out over the beautiful gardens.
Today it is run as a hotel by husband and wife team, James and Fjona Hill who have put food at the heart of the business. Three distinct dining environments have been created, each with their own design and personality. Fred’s Bar offers diners a casual setting by day and an intimate bar setting by night, ideal for a pre-dinner drink in front of the open fire.
Afternoon tea is served in The Parlour, a modern, bright lounge where a tea sommelier takes you through specialist teas crafted in single-batch from various artisan family-run gardens created by Lailani & Co. The menu offers modern twists on the traditional afternoon tea menu such as ‘Goat’s cheese, Serrano ham, fig toastie’ and ‘Waffle Cone with passion fruit cheesecake’, not forgetting Cheese, Fruit and Plain scones. In the evening, The Parlour is also used for drinks with the gardens illuminated in the background.
Dinner is served in Peel’s Restaurant recently awarded 3 AA Rosettes. Young Head Chef Rob Palmer has created menus drawing on some of England’s finest local ingredients, often with a contemporary touch but always adding the English kitchen garden influence from Hampton Manor’s vast walled kitchen garden. Dishes on the A La Carte menu include ‘Rabbit – Smoked bacon, prunes, purple sprouting broccoli’ and ‘Ryeland Lamb – Turnip, goat’s curd, mint’ and ‘Hen’s Egg – Cep cannelloni, parsley and truffle’.
The newly launched Tasting Room with a front row seat into the kitchen of six chefs in action offers a four- and a seven-course tasting menu option with accompanying wine flight pairing. The British cuisine is all sourced locally with Lighthorn lamb and longhorn rare breed cattle among the locally reared meat.
Cheese, too, is a superb British celebration, with Berkswell produced a few miles from Hampton Manor by Stephen and Sheila Fletcher. Head Chef Rob Palmer and his kitchen team have all grown up within 20 miles of Hampton Manor. Rob worked alongside former Michelin starred chef, Martyn Pearn.
Sommelier Danielle Carr has researched Old World and New World wines that complement the various menus. Her personal interest in both traditional and fresh vineyards and regions allows diners to sample lesser-known wines if they wish, or excellent value wines from regions that are on the radar.
After a delicious meal, it is time to relax. All 15 bespoke bedrooms feature the Louis Collection of furniture by award-winning designer John Reeves. Original features have been maintained in each room and the views of the grounds are spectacular to wake up to. Bathrooms include monsoon showers, and large baths with toiletries by REN.
Next day you can explore the pretty village of Hampton-In-Arden with its church dating back to the 12th century, have a drink at the 17th-century pub with its original exposed beams, and visit the war memorial.
Then how about lunch or afternoon tea on the terrace? If the weather is glorious grab a picnic rug and finish the day on the lawn with a glass of fizz watching the sun set over the heart of England!
www.hamptonmanor.com Shadowbrook Lane, Hampton-In-Arden, Solihull, B92 0DQ
01675 446 080 twitter @HamptonManor Accommodation priced from £150.00 per night